Dublin Graving docks / Grand Canal Docks / Alexandra Basin

Dublin Graving docks / Grand Canal Docks / Alexandra Basin

Postby Adolf Luas » Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:25 pm

This may well have been spoken of previously on Archiseek, but does anybody know what fate awaits the two beautiful graving docks at the eastern end of Grand Canal Dock? I've never heard any debate regarding them and generally find that the majority of people I speak to are totally unaware of their existence. It would certainly be in the interest of any developer or the likes of the DDA to keep quiet about them as they are lovely structures that would seriously get in the way of an underground car park or basement. They really ought to be protected. They'd make wonderful performance, gallery or museum spaces that could easily be inter-linked below ground.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby theman » Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:58 pm

There are 3 graving docks. The largest is destined to be excavated for an u/g car park, the other 2 are being restored. Those 2 were partially restored and the fill excavated by the DDDA a few years back. All three were filled in circa the early 20th century. They will form the center piece of a new development - the middle dock will be effectively be a pond / feature i.e. not operational, the smallest will be fully operational. It is being developed in a joint venture between Waterways Ireland, who own the docks, and DDDA.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby ctesiphon » Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:31 pm

theman-

From a quick look at Google Earth, I only see two. Is the third one currently filled in? Is it the southernmost and also the largest? There's a patch of land that seems to have an 'entrance' from GC dock itself, to the south of the two water-filled docks.

Adolf-

Past experience shows that designating structures as Protected Structures in the DDDA functional area does nothing to protect them.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:30 am

here's the docks for anyone unfamiliar with the area
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby igy » Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:41 am

When i saw the thread title I thought this was going to be about the several sunken vessels in GCD.

Speaking of THEM, are there any plans to raise them and generally clean up the water quality of the dock?


I'd never seen the graving docks before, is that the same place that the Viking Splash tours enter the water?
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby notjim » Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:25 am

I am amazed by this: I often walk along beside them and never knew what was the other side of wall, I assumed it was just waste land. I went on the Viking etc years ago and I think it enters the water at the filled in dock.

I am amazed and pleased to hear that the DDDA unfilled two of the docks, their instinct is usually the opposite.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby Adolf Luas » Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:11 pm

Interesting to discover that there are three graving docks. Access to them is over a trampled down chain-link fence that directly faces Grand Canal Dock.
Any idea what's being constructed around them?
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby theman » Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:34 am

There are definitely 3 docks - the largest is filled in and is at the south opf the photo, just behind the boundary wall. You can access if from South Docks Road, just at the RHS of the chain link fence. It is going to be used as a donor to piece in the missing stones to the other 2 docks. They are missing their gates, and the sluice that empties them into the Dodder also has to be upgraded.

The proposal for the development is mainly apartments, approx 6 floors high each building, in between each dock. Waterways are also getitng a new maintenance yard, as awell as a community center being incorporated into the development. AFAIK, the social & affordable element of Britain Quay / U2 tower is being allocated in this development.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby manifesta » Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:28 pm

Graving docks are a bit of an endangered species in city docklands areas, fast disappearing as waterfront properties become more and more desirable. Protected though these may be, let's hope this remains the case. Reasons to be skeptical:

The Gowan graving docks in Glasgow, in use til 1988 and a Class A listed site, are currently part of a huge redevelopment that promises all sorts of shiny amenities (mixed residential & commercial use, floating restaurants, shops). However, the graving docks themselves, as far as I can tell, have been demolished.

A similar threat faced the Todd Shipyard graving docks in Red Hook, Brooklyn. A certain blue-and-yellow big box proposal called for the demolishing of Graving Dock No. 1, which apart from being a great piece of maritime history, was also a functioning dry dock, one of only 6 in the NY Harbor. The Preservation League of New York State got on board to protest its destruction, listing it as one of NY's 'Seven to Save.' There were lawsuits and cases made by the Society for Industrial Archaeology, Save the Graving Dock Committee, and all sorts of noise raised by the Village Voice. Its fate? Filled in, bulldozed, and currently making way for a 1,400 car parking lot. But IKEA, never fear, will be sticking in a promenade and a couple of consolation cranes. I also hear they have plans to christen a vase FUKD to commemmorate the area's maritime history.

So yes, it's great (and admittedly a bit astonishing) that the DDDA is preserving/restoring 2 of the 3 graving docks as part of redevelopment. The scheme is something other docklands areas could learn from. I, for one, had no idea those graving docks were even there, but I take heart that they exist!
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby StephenC » Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:34 pm

Im confused - why should these be preserved. And what use are they
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby manifesta » Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:43 pm

Graving docks (or dry docks) are used to make repairs to ships as well as other sundry things like de-barnacling the sideboards. The dock area can be drained to allow easy access. A stronger case for preserving them is, of course, if they are actually still in use. But I happen to think they are cool architectural structures. I'm not opposed to redeveloping them, especially if the redevelopment happens to incorporate the shape of the original dock. I just think filling them in is a huge waste of potential space. And lazy thinking.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby Adolf Luas » Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:24 pm

StephenC wrote:Im confused - why should these be preserved. And what use are they


Go and have a look for yourself, they really are very beautiful, quite sculptural in a way and an increasing rarity.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby dc3 » Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:34 pm

There was, until relatively recently, also a canal graving dock for barges close behind the library in Phibsboro, in the shadow of Mountjoy.

It was obviously associated with the long filled in arm of the Royal Canal, now a park, that ran down to Broadstone. The library itself stands on part of the canal.

I think the dock may have been filled in in the 1970's.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby Adolf Luas » Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:48 pm

dc3 wrote:There was, until relatively recently, also a canal graving dock for barges close behind the library in Phibsboro, in the shadow of Mountjoy.

It was obviously associated with the long filled in arm of the Royal Canal, now a park, that ran down to Broadstone. The library itself stands on part of the canal.

I think the dock may have been filled in in the 1970's.


That's very interesting. I wonder if an image of the graving dock exists? I'd love to see it.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby ctesiphon » Sat Oct 13, 2007 2:25 pm

Could this P-shaped car park be our little friend?

It's on the eastern bank of the filled in canal spur, in the shadow of Mountjoy. The rounded eastern end of the car park might suggest a former graving dock?
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby dc3 » Sat Oct 13, 2007 7:50 pm

Looks like it might be the right spot to me.

I used to pass it a long time ago as a kid, so the memory of the precise location has faded somewhat but I do think it was on the Mater side of the old canal route.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:48 pm

theman wrote:There are definitely 3 docks - the largest is filled in and is at the south opf the photo, just behind the boundary wall. You can access if from South Docks Road, just at the RHS of the chain link fence. It is going to be used as a donor to piece in the missing stones to the other 2 docks. They are missing their gates, and the sluice that empties them into the Dodder also has to be upgraded.

The proposal for the development is mainly apartments, approx 6 floors high each building, in between each dock. Waterways are also getitng a new maintenance yard, as awell as a community center being incorporated into the development. AFAIK, the social & affordable element of Britain Quay / U2 tower is being allocated in this development.



A better view of these
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby dc3 » Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:53 pm

Re the Phibsboro dock, I have since seen an OS map which locates it pretty exactly, with the entrance at a 45 degree angle between the existing main channel of the Royal and the long filled in Broadstone branch.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby gunter » Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:52 pm

I presume this is a graving dock!

It's beside the Nation Conference (Convention?) Centre on North wall, between it and the Royal Canal but entered from the liffey.

Image Image
A picture taken a few months ago and another, more recent, shot showing the fancy new gates.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby johnglas » Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:05 pm

gunter: don't think it is - it's actually a lock on the canal; a graving dock is usually off a dock proper and can be either dry or wet -it's basically for ship repair. It's monstrous to fill one in- what a location for waterside activities and totally controlled.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby Paul Clerkin » Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:39 am

Gunter, that's the beginning of the Royal Canal, where it enters the Liffey.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby gunter » Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:27 pm

Sorry about that. The absence of the 'canal' beside it should have been a clue.
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby cantalach » Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:49 pm

Some recent photos of the Graving Docks can be found here - they were taken last Easter when a number of wrecks were removed from the basin -
One of the photos is shown below:
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby johnglas » Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:21 pm

Great set of photos - how did they all get there in the first place? I hope they're not all scrapped - presumably some 'artist' could do an assemblage of found objects - 'The Spirit of Ringsend'?
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Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

Postby Maxwiggan » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:25 pm

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